Why I Don’t Want The Stone Roses to Reform

Not for the first time this year, and certainly not for the first time since they split, The Stone Roses are allegedly set to reform. Yesterday, The Sun (yes, not the first time that this newspaper have declared a ‘reunion’) announced that The Roses are set to reform, having set up ‘for a series of comeback gigs.’ You may think that this is just mere rumour, and there has been a lot of this in the past, but none have had as much apparent credibility as this one. A high-up music PR has announced a press conference in London to make a ‘very important announcement,’ with a another source stating that ‘It has been a tough few months getting everything sorted out, but the outcome has all the lads smiling again’ [The Sun]. In case you were wondering, this press announcement is set for Tuesday.

But, there is more. Former drummer Alan ‘Reni’ Wren, who has been virtually silent since he left the group in 1995 has contacted the NME with a short message: ‘Not before 9T will I wear the hat 4 the Roses again.’

It is very unusual for a former member not to quash rumours about alleged upcoming reunions outright fairly quickly. This message is not particularly clear, and does not immediately dispel the rumours, depending on which way you look at it. What does ‘9T’ mean? Could it refer to the age of ninety, suggesting Reni will never drum with the group again, or could it be a reference to ‘9am Tuesday?’ Who knows. It is certainly not the usual scorn expressed by John Squire or Ian Brown in these circumstances.

Whatever this all means, I am very uneasy about a serious prospect of the Roses reforming. There is a part of me that would give anything to see one of the finest bands that the world has ever seen perform in real life on stage. But the other part of me, the sensible side, is a little bit more subdued.

Firstly, the band, in the fifteen or so years since they split, have attracted many new fans, gained massive status, and the legend that has come to surround them is beaten by few. This means that a reunion would be placing tremendous pressure on the band’s collective shoulders, plus the fact that they have literally only one chance at a comeback show. If they mess it up, the mystique and phenomenon surrounding them could be damaged, possibly irrecoverably.

Secondly, the thing that no fan wants their disbanded band to do: reconvene for money, and money only. A series of return shows for the band would definitely pay significantly for each member, but for a group that was always more of a gang than a musical party, the original lad’s troop, a reformation just for money would be absolutely heartbreaking.

John Squire has said in the past that a reunion for money would be ‘tragic.’ This, coupled with all the other things that members ‘would rather do’ (I will compile a list one day) than reform the Roses, puts anyone with common sense in the mindset that it would be impossible for them to be onstage with each other again. However, back in April, John and Ian apparently made up at the wake of Mani’s Mother’s funeral, but any hastily suggested possibilities of a regroup were quickly crushed from all sides. That being said, if friendships were rekindled, things could have been set in motion. Mani has maintained that it is just John and Ian that need to sort themselves out, he’s always been up for it.

A reunion will probably destroy the Roses legend of being an amazing band that died a death, that lives on through fans and the music. I would rather it stayed that way, continuing to attract drama, speculation, interest, memorial and the hype of legend, than for them to become ‘just another reformed band.’

It would still be more incredible than words can say to hear the introduction to ‘I Wanna be Adored’ pouring out over a crowd again.

Edit: I think that Mattie Bennett, of ‘Straw,’ sums up my view and feelings perfectly: ‘No. As much as I love The Stone Roses, this will be bad. Nostalgic bullshit. Leave that to Suede and Pulp. Not life changing bands. Their legacy will be destroyed’ [From the NME].


Filed under Opinionated Music Posts

2 responses to “Why I Don’t Want The Stone Roses to Reform

  1. Mark

    I couldn’t agree more about the Roses NOT reforming. Those that truly love them and understood what the band represented should find the idea utterly depressing, particularly given the way any prospective shows will be flogged. It will become something gobbled up by those who never cared about them or their legacy – the ‘must attend’ event of 2012 for hip kids, z-list celebrities and dippy music journos. Forget the great music, the Stone Roses were the best band ever at being a band in the purist, mythical sense. A gang of guys who romantically believed that making records could go beyond the corporate music machine, that you could change the world with a groove and in the process inspire a generation. I believed in it and still do, it changed my world and continues to do so – I haven’t forgotten what they meant and for a blissful period we had a glimpse of what pop music can be. But to try and recapture that now is impossible, so what good could it possibly do? There’s too much water under the bridge and too much hype for it not to be disappointing, never mind so utterly surreal it will verge on parody. Most people just want to see them up there for the sake of curiosity and the chance that the wheels fall off in spectacular style. How will it work, will Robbie Maddix and Aziz sheepishly deputise for the final third? Will they shun the Second Coming material completely or ask Reni to bring his drum machine for ‘Begging You’? (which history tells us is a bad idea BTW)
    Not least, John Squire was right when he said rock music was a young man’s game, and to make such a u-turn on relatively recent vehement denials would also be a serious credibility dent. At the moment The Stone Roses have the privilege of eternal youth, crystallised in a time they helped to define and the memory, the legacy, the legend gets stronger with every passing year. The past was definitely theirs and it’s where they should keep it…

    • Ali Maxwell

      I totally and wholeheartedly agree with you sir. What happened happened, and while I did not experience that at the time, I do not want their legacy being torn up, which it inevitably will in some form. As you say, too much hype has sprung up for it not to be a let down, and I couldn’t agree more.

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